Engaging Children In Social Behavior: Interaction With a Robot Playmate Through Tablet-based Apps
Park, Hae Won
Howard, Ayanna M.
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There has been an emerging use of touchscreen-based smart devices, such as the iPad, for assisting in education and communication interventions for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There has also been growing evidence of the utilization of robots to foster social interaction in children with ASD. Unfortunately, although interventions using the tablet have been successfully implemented in the home environment, the robotic platforms have not. One of the reasons is due to the fact that these robotic platforms are typically not autonomous, i.e. they are typically controlled directly by the clinician or through pre-scripted behavior. This makes it difficult for immersion of such platforms in an environment outside of the clinical setting. As such, to capitalize on the widespread ease-of-use of tablet devices and the emerging success found in the field of social robotics, we present efforts that focus on designing an autonomous interactive robot that socially interacts with a child using the tablet as a shared medium. The purpose is to foster social interaction through play that is directed by the child, thus moving toward behavior that can be translated outside of the clinical setting.